The sun is out, temperature 7 degrees, the vast majority of the record 10,000 people on the beach at Scheveningen are hung over.
At midday they’re off: Thousands of people wearing brightly coloured hats and gloves and other assorted fancy dress race towards the freezing North Sea, wanting to be the first in the water during this maniacal yet fun charity fund raising event.
Unox, the event sponsors donate the proceeds of the day to many worthy causes as well as inspiring the normally sluggish to do their bit for the New Year spirit of giving.
A great deal of shivering, dithering, splashing and plenty of laughing can be seen and heard at the waters edge.
There are plenty of expats in the water indulging in this madness. A couple from America was whooping it up loud and proud. “This is fantastic” said Jordan. His wife unable to reply due to getting a face full of icy sea water splashed all over her.
The day was a great success and many thousands of Euros were raised. As people dried themselves off all along the beach, it was great to see so many smiling faces at the start of a New Year. Long may this trend continue.
So the fun at Scheveningen beach has already started, and there is still a whole summer to come! See you next January 1st for a quick wake up call to 2012?
Text and Photo’s by Neal McClimon